Workout Tips

3 Keys to Looking and Being Strong

Blend the principles of powerlifting and bodybuilding to build greater strength and pack on more muscle.

muscular torso

I don’t know about the rest of you but I want to be as strong as I can possibly be, but I also want the hours of toil in the weight room to result in a physique that leaves no doubt as to whether I lift or not.

A lot of people think you have to choose one or the other, I know you have all seen the powerlifter who is strong as an ox but would lose to Michael Moore in a pose-off. Or the bodybuilder who looks like he is carved out of granite but can’t bench 300 pounds.

I don’t want either of those things… I want both! And if you follow some simple guidelines it is possible to have the proverbial cake and eat it too. We want to blend the principles and methods of powerlifting and bodybuilding to build strong and chiseled muscles.

Keys to Size and Strength

Off-Season Hypertrophy Training

To gain some serious size you should have an “off-season” where your goals focus around hypertrophy, and strength gains take a backseat. During this period, focus on high reps, short rest periods, and more isolation movements to hit each muscle. This period should last 12-16 weeks and it should obviously be far away from your next powerlifting competition. Don’t abandon compound movements during this period, but do a higher percentage of assistance work compared to the big three lifts.

Mixing Powerlifting and Bodybuilding

During your powerlifting “season” think of each workout as two separate workouts. The first part will be your big, heavy compound movements. This is the powerlifting influenced part of your workout. We want heavy weights, low reps and longer rest periods. Include 2-3 exercises in this “powerlifting” style. The second part of the workout is the bodybuilding portion. Here you are going to do isolation movements, high reps, and short rest periods. This part of your workout should consist of 5-7 exercises done with short rest periods (60-90 seconds)

Diet and Nutrition

If you want to be strong and look good your diet has to be on point year round. You don’t need to take it to extremes like a bodybuilder getting ready for a show, but you can’t eat pizza and fried chicken every meal either.

The most important part of your diet is to eat AT LEAST 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, preferably more like 1.2-1.5g per pound of bodyweight.

If you gain weight easily, watch your carb intake.

Eat plenty of fresh vegetables.

Lastly, stay away from processed and fried foods as much as possible.